Obama, Japanese Leader Spend Little Time Talking Economics

Despite criticism that President Obama has spent too much time focusing on domestic issues like health care and climate change while the unemployment rate has risen to double-digits, the economy was not one of the principal topics of discussion during the president's meeting  Friday with Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.

During a press conference with Obama, the newly-elected Japanese prime minister laid out the various topics addressed in their meetings from earlier Friday: Afghanistan, climate change, nuclear disarmament, Iran and North Korea.

But missing conspicuously from the list: the economy.

"The economy was not a major issue this time, but again, this might reflect the times in which we're living," Hatoyama said. 

The prime minister said he hoped the two might discuss the topic over dinner.

Obama admitted that it was not the first item on their agenda but thought the two would have ample opportunity to discuss the topic in the coming days during the APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit being held in Singapore

"As the world's two leading economies, we have spent a lot of time working together in the G20 to help bring the world back from the brink of financial crisis, and we're going to continue to work to strengthen our efforts so that we can expand job growth in the future," Obama told reporters. 

U.S. exports to Japan reached 66.6 billion in 2008.

Before embarking upon his trip to Asia, the president attempted to preempt criticism that he was not focused on the rising unemployment rate by announcing a jobs summit to be held at the White House next month.